Solar Red & Silver Bonnet Stripe Photos

Until recently the only information available for the new 2006 colors came from either the MINIUSA configurator flash animation or a color sample at the dealership. Neither one was a very good way to gage just how the new colors would look. To aid those spec’ing their 2006 MINIs, today we take a look at how the Solar Red body color and the new bonnet stripes look “in the flesh.”

Solar Red

In the week that has past since I took delivery of my 2006 COOPER, I have been surprised at just how much range of color there is to Solar Red. In some lighting conditions it can appear to be a lighter version of Velvet Red, and in others the color shifts to being fairly close to Chili Red. The good news is for those still waiting for their MINIs to be delivered, the color chip doesn’t do Solar Red justice.

For those looking for a brighter color for their MINI, there are two potential downsides to Solar Red. First, the roof options are restricted to Solar Red and Silver. Not that there is anything wrong with either of those choices, but but it would have been nice to have been able to also choose from white and black. The other problem with Solar Red is that it isn’t available on the COOPER S.

Silver Bonnet Stripes

Visually the new stripe pattern does excellent job of drawing attention not just to the stripe, but to the bulge in the center of the bonnet.

As far as fit and finish go, the new stripe has an almost metallic appearance which makes it look nearly painted on. In addition, the stripe is applied at the factory prior to installation of the MINI emblem and has nice radiuses in the corners. However, there are a few areas that could be improved upon:
1) The new stripe has two clearance holes cut in it to fit around the washer nozzles mounted toward the rear of the bonnet. The holes are slightly larger than one might have expected for a factory installation.
2) MINI continues its trend of not having the stripe run the full length of the bonnet, resulting in a small gap at the front and back of the stripe.
3) The stripe isn’t available in black or white for those that elected for a roof in a color other than silver. Perhaps in the future an aftermarket company would consider producing a similar stripe if the interest was there.

  • Cooper Flags ( makes an aftermarket one.

  • ChrisW

    Could those be the 15″ graphite Konig Rewind wheels I have my eye on for my winter setup? Why, I believe they are! What tire size are you running David?

  • matt

    nice shots and nice combination dave! your car looks fantastic.

  • greg

    Sorry. I can’t warm up to the new style bonnet stripes. Too non-tradional vs. the throw back look of the current ones.

  • Tim

    Maybe, it’s just me but I don’t think you need a bonnet strip to show off the bulge on the bonnet. The car does enough on it’s own to not even need them. I would have prefered a deeper red metallic as well.


  • scatpack

    Love that hood stripe.. wish It was available on the convertibles.

  • dickdavid

    I love the pics! I love the MINILITES type wheels!

  • scatpack – see geno’s comment above, Cooperflags have been selling their own version for a little while now.

  • Chris: the tires are 205/55 R15 AVS ES100’s (my winter tires for SoCal).

  • scatpack

    Let me rephrase.. I wish they offered that stripe on the Cooper S convertible!

  • scatpack

    The ones on CooperFlags aren’t wide enough, and the V-wings do go out as far as the OEM ones.

    Also the inner curve is wrong.

  • V. nice pictures Dave! Maybe it’s for the best that the color isn’t available on the Cooper S. Or else I would be further conflicted about what color to get! 😮

  • Allan

    I want to see some new bright and exciting colors..

  • I am sure at somepoint dealers will have this in as a repair part. And at that point I am going to get it installed on my Cooper Cabrio.

  • Avitor

    This thing looks sort of like the front of a high waisted thong to me.

  • Matt

    Dave, you wouldn’t have a wallpaper size hi-res pic of the top one would you?

  • dickdavid
    Dave, you wouldn’t have a wallpaper size hi-res pic of the top one would you?


  • I frickin LOVE that combo. And the photos are EXCELLENT, David!

    My remorse: the S can not be thusly ordered.

  • Spectacular photos as always, DiD!

  • R50

    I wonder what this car would look like with silver side skirts, wheel arches, and lower bumper trim? Too much silver?

  • Giacomo

    Like the red, from what I can see, would love silver stripes and roof, just not maybe that style stripe on MCS but I think OK on MC.

  • Absolutely gorgeous!

  • Greg W

    Are you sure you can’t have a black or white roof or is this a MINI USA restriction? I would get the roof repainted if I really wanted black or White. I agree with other comments – where did this new stripe design come from? Certainly not a John Cooper concept I would bet. Your car colour and wheels look great.

  • James

    Thanks Dave for the gorgeous pics! I’ve been wondering what the solar red looked like in real life as opposed to the color swatches. You mention the color looking different in different lighting. Is it simply a deep red metallic or does it have a bit of a chameleon, multi-color, color-shift quality to it?

  • Cuca

    Dave can you tell me what camera did you use on these pics? It makes your car look even more wonderful!! Thanks. 🙂

  • I thought the stripes were interesting when I first saw them. But Matt opened my eyes even more. Now I want to see the back of the “thong”.

  • Cuca: I shot the photos above with a Nikon D70

  • Phil

    I have to say I’m not digging this. For me the racing stripes were always a nod to MINI’s racing heritage when the leather straps were used to hold the bonnet down. Messing with the strips moves away from this which seems a pity to me. Different strokes I guess.

  • alpinamike

    Very Nice, good job MINI. This hood is sweet!! -alpinamike

  • Greg W

    Well said Phil. The stripes were the John Cooper Racing team icons. Those new ones make the car look more bulgy and curvy – better left to Playboy magazine! Did you guys get that photo of a South African MINI bonnet painted to look like a lady in a bikini over in the States? Nice set of headlamps you got there!

  • That’s really a sharp looking car. I think it comes together well with the color, stripes and wheels. That said, I still prefer the Chili Red and find this Solar Red a bit too bland. I’m glad it’s available as an alternative to the CR instead of as a replacement. I wish the same could be said of the blues!

  • Sigh…

    This was my preferred color combination – unfortunately, in Canada, you can only get this as part of a package, which is only available if you also get the sports package, which included seats and wheels I didn’t want.

    Chili red and white is pretty close though… right? right?


  • Jimbo

    Well James, I have a Solar Red on order and I live in the U.S., and the configuration you are refering to in Canada is exactly the way I wanted my car (except for the spoiler). I couldn’t get the Bridger 16″ Wheels in the U.S. unless I ordered the Checkmate Package which adds other items I didn’t want! It just goes to show, no matter how many different versions of a MINI we can make up, there is always another possibility you can’t make up ! I read some where the chances of two people ordering the same configeration of MINI was 1,046,000 to one !

  • Jimbo – I think you mean the Bridge Spoke wheels. However I’d be totally cool with people calling them the Bridger spoke… as they are my favorite 16″ wheel 🙂

    BTW your dealer should be able to order them as a dealer installed accessory.

  • Jimbo

    Just see’n if your paying attention there, Gabe !

    maybe even a Freudian slip ?! 🙂

  • ravana

    Ahh, now to wait for my almost exact order to arrive (minus the stripes). These pictures will get me by until then.

    Anyone seen any others?

  • Becca

    I love MINIs soo much! but my dad said they were toooo expensive! YAH RIGHT! im gonna get one when I’m 16 (hopefully) LOL GO BECCA! BECCALICIOUS! yo haley and sarah and abby and kaylea and sheely and ashlyn and hannah!!!

  • Becca (again)

    It might need hydrolics 🙂 LOL! TTLY!

  • Beaver

    Greg W I loved that car. whatever became of it, can’t find any pictures of it anymore.

  • Dave

    Since those photos were taken the stripe has been removed and the Konig Rewinds have been replaced with BBS RG-F’s.

    More recent photos can be found here

  • Dave

    nevermind… I just read “beaver’s” post a little closer.